tulips hyacinths daffodils at Buffalo Botanical Gardens

Fall gardening classes to be held online by Master Gardeners

Online gardening classes will be offered in September by Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. The classes will be presented via Zoom and the cost will be $15 per class or $40 for all three classes. Register here. The classes are: Bulbs and Tubers and Corms, Oh, My! Tuesday, Sept. 15, 6:30-8 p.m. There is a wide variety of bulbs, (and tubers and corms) available to brighten your spring garden. Learn what’s new and interesting in this…

garden directly under a large tree

You can garden in shade–even under a tree!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Do you struggle with shade? Find out how these gardeners created lush shade gardens–directly under large trees! The trick, the gardeners said, is using good soil with lots of compost. Note: Don’t pile soil up against the tree trunk and don’t create mulch volcanoes. See more here. “Make sure the soil is real good,” said Linda Monaco. She and her husband Chris live in Lackawanna and shared their landscape on Open Gardens last month. “In the…

seed packet

If you get seeds in the mail from China that you didn’t order, don’t plant them

If you get seeds in the mail from China or other countries that you didn’t order, don’t open the seed packet and don’t plant the seeds. Consumers in the United States, Canada, Australia and the European Union have been getting unsolicited packets of seeds from China and other countries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is investigating. At this point, it seems this is a “brushing scam,” where online sellers create fake orders to…

photo illustration of soil

See Master Gardeners in person ‘under the tent’ for questions, soil tests

Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County will be available to answer gardening questions and receive soil samples ‘under the tent’ on the Roycroft Campus, 21 South Grove St., East Aurora, NY from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday, now through Sept. 30, weather permitting. To see if the session is closed due to weather, refer to the Gardening Page of their web site or their Facebook page after 8:45 a.m.on the day of your visit. They will be adhering to…

rocks and flowers installed by Busy Beaver Lawn and Garden

Before & after: How my front yard went from ho-hum to awesome

by Connie Oswald Stofko by Connie Oswald Stofko The part of my landscape that everyone sees– the front yard– was so plain it bordered on unattractive. (See the before images below.) I knew what I wanted to achieve, but I didn’t know what it should look like or how to make it happen. So I called in the experts at Busy Beaver Lawn & Garden and gave them a list of things I wanted to accomplish. That list included: Create…

Asian longhorned beetle in pool

Look for signs of two invasive dangers to trees in WNY

Western New Yorkers should watch for signs of oak wilt and Asian longhorned beetles (ALB), two invasive dangers to trees. Neither has been found yet in Western New York, but if either is here, early detection could help stop the spread. You might also begin to notice tar spot, which is common on maples here. It’s ugly, but doesn’t damage the tree. Oak wilt Oak wilt disease is a fungal disease that affects both red and white oaks, but red…

rain on flowers by Stofko

Four reasons why WNY gardeners like summer rain

by Connie Oswald Stofko This spring we endured long, cold stretches of rain. Or snow. We couldn’t wait for dry, sunny days. Summer finally arrived and brought those hot, dry days, but perhaps we’ve had more than you would like. Yesterday I waited for rain that never arrived. Here are four reasons Western New York gardeners like rain in the summer: If it rains enough, we don’t have to water. While some gardeners enjoy the task of watering, others would…

stages of Gypsy moth

Insect damage? It might be gypsy moth caterpillar or fourlined plant bug

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may have seen damage to your plants recently and not known what was causing the damage. Here are two possibilities: gypsy moth caterpillar and fourlined plant bug. The worst is over for this year, but you should be on the lookout for them next year. Below is some general information on Gypsy moth caterpillars and fourlined plant bugs. If you have more questions about damage to plants or if you want an identification of an…

watercolor of flower by Judith Kosinski

Watercolor classes being held online by Botanical Gardens

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is holding a variety of new online art classes beginning today, Tuesday, July 21.  There are watercolor classes for all skill levels, including a foundational level for beginners with little to no experience, a beginner level for those looking to learn more techniques, an intermediate level for those with more experience, and an advanced masters class for those looking to fine tune their skills.  The classes will be held online via Zoom. All classes are suitable for anyone…

lettuce and kale plants

How to get a second crop of vegetables & herbs this year in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can harvest vegetables and herbs into the fall–and even winter–when you plant cool weather vegetables at this time of year. Unlike plants such as tomatoes and peppers that need warm weather to thrive, cool weather vegetables are plants that actually like the cooler temperatures. Some can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. See the table below for more than 20 herbs and vegetables you can still plant this year. “Many experienced gardeners, not…

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